Ground meat, such as beef, pork, chicken or turkey, and rice are the stuff of which cabbage rolls are made. Of course, the rolls can be strictly vegetarian, too, but reader Lynette Faul wanted a good cabbage roll recipe made with meat.
Three readers, one hailing from Ontario, Canada, share their favorites.
"This is the recipe from my grandmother and the one we grew up with," Chester Ray Breakfield said. "She used a pound of hamburger meat."
Grandmothers and great-grandmothers knew how to stretch a meal with not so much meat, and the dish still packed flavor.
1 pound hamburger meat
1 beaten egg
1/4 cup or so of uncooked rice
1 can condensed tomato soup, divided
Mix egg, rice and meat together with 1/2 can tomato soup. Roll into rolls and fill cabbage leaves. Add water to remaining 1/2 can soup to make a sauce. Pour sauce over filled rolls. Cook 1 to 2 hours on low on stovetop until cabbage is tender.
-- Submitted by Chester Ray Breakfield
Coastian Brenda Walker, who contributes to this column from time to time, shares her recipe.
1 or 2 heads of cabbage (you will need 12-16 large leaves)
1 pound ground beef (80 percent lean or so)
2 cups cooked rice (cooked 5 minutes short of specified time)
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 or 2 small cans (10-ounce size) tomato soup or 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
Thyme leaves (several sprigs or 1-2 teaspoons dried)
Cut the core from the head of cabbage and wash well. Fill a large saucepan or pot (I use a 4-quart saucepot) with about 2 inches of water. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and the head of cabbage, core side down. Cover and cook for approximately 10 minutes or until the outer cabbage leaves are tender and flexible but not mushy.
Carefully remove the head of cabbage from the pot. Run under cold water until it can comfortably be handled. Gently separate the leaves. If you get to the point where the leaves are still crisp, return the remaining portion to the boiling water to cook a little longer. Repeat until you have enough cooked leaves for the number of cabbage rolls you want to make (12 -16 large leaves). Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, cooked rice, onion, egg, garlic powder, black pepper and salt. Mix thoroughly. (I reach in and use clean hands to squish the mixture together.)
If using the tomato sauce instead of canned tomato soup, stir together the tomato sauce, lemon juice and minced garlic in a small bowl.
Prepare a baking dish by spraying it with nonstick cooking spray. (I use a 7-by-11-inch rectangular baking dish, but this does not usually hold all of the rolls. Any baking dish can be used, but cooking time may vary depending on how the rolls are arranged.) Cover the bottom of the dish with half of the tomato soup or tomato sauce mixture. Set the rest of the soup or sauce aside for the topping.
Place cabbage leaves on a cutting board one by one and, with a sharp knife, trim much of the thickness from the central ridge of the cabbage leaf starting at the core end and cutting toward the outer edge. This will flatten the ridge, making it flush with the leaf and easier to roll. Place1/4 cup of the meat mixture near the lower core edge of the cabbage leaf. Fold the lower edge up over the meat mixture. Then fold in each side of the leaf toward the middle. Roll the leaf tucking in the sides as you go. Squeeze the rolled cabbage leaf in your fist to shape the bundle and place it seam side down in a rectangular baking dish. Repeat until all of the meat mixture has been used.
Cover the cabbage rolls with the remaining tomato soup or sauce. Scatter thyme leaves over all. Cover the pan with a lid or aluminum foil.
Bake at 350 degrees, covered, for 30 minutes. Uncover. Bake another 15 minutes or until ground beef is done through.
Serve and enjoy!
-- Submitted by Brenda Walker
All the way from Ontario comes Jan Glionna's recipe. She uses a mixture of ground beef and pork in her cabbage rolls, which enriches the flavor.
2 large cabbages
2 pounds ground beef
1 pound ground pork
2 cups cooked rice
1 chopped onion
Salt, pepper, garlic salt, celery salt, paprika
1 large tin tomato juice
Prepare leaves (boil and remove core).
Mix meats, rice, onion and seasonings together.
Fill leaves with mixture of meats, spices and onion. Brown in butter, place in baking dish, cover with juice.
Cook 1- 1/2 hours at 350 degrees. Enjoy.
-- Submitted by Jan Glionna
Dolly Parton had a good cabbage roll recipe in her cookbook "Tennessee Mountain Home Cooking."
STUFFED CABBAGE ROLLS
1 head cabbage
1 pound ground chuck
1 tablespoon cooked rice
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons onion, grated
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons oil
1 large onion, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup hot water
2 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
Boil about 8 large cabbage leaves barely tender; drain. Combine chuck, rice, 2 tablespoons sugar, onion, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt,1/4 teaspoon pepper and1/4 teaspoon paprika.
Put spoonful of meat mixture on each leaf; roll up, tucking in ends to make neat compact bundles.
In hot oil, sauté onion with 1/2 teaspoon salt,1/4 teaspoon paprika and pepper. Add hot water. Place cabbage rolls on top of onion mixture. Mix tomato sauce with sugar and lemon juice; pour over cabbage rolls. Cover; cook over low heat, or bake in 325-degree oven for 2 hours. Yield: 8 servings.
-- From "Tennessee Mountain Home Cooking"
Norma Shiero of Parrish, Fla., needs a recipe for breakfast sausage that uses poultry seasoning. She wants to make her own like she used to make in the school cafeteria for students.
Chester Ray Breakfield, who offered his grandmother's cabbage roll recipe, has a suggestion for Shiero.
"I make 'sausage' with hamburger meat and added poultry seasoning," he said. "It tastes like sausage, and I make it into patties and freeze for later use. You can add as much seasoning as you like until it is to your taste. Hope this is helpful."
Readers, if you have other sausage recipes, please send them to me.
Three recipes needed
A Kiln reader wants recipes for pusharatas, cherry pecan fruit cake and a pound cake.
Again, readers check your files, both paper and computer, and send me these recipes.
Have a happy Mardi Gras!
Andrea Yeager can be reached at email@example.com and Cook's Exchange, P.O. Box 4567, Biloxi, MS 39535-4567.